Sunday, 26 October 2014

Chapter---(3), Hindustan--Tibet Road fantasy, (July-August 2014)

Continuation of (Ashok Parimoo & Guruduth Kamath)

“Trans Himalayan 
Hindustan-Tibet Road” fantasy.

Chapter— (3)
Shimla --- Sanjouli ---- Dhalli ---- Kufri ---- Fagu ---- Theog --- Shilaroo ----Narkhand ---- Kingal ---- Sainj (from here you can take diversion to go to (Kulu, Manali) ---- Rampur (Bushar) ---- Sarahan ---- Jeori ---- Negul Sari ---- Bhavnagar

(Day-2)- 17th July 2014:--- By about 6 AM, in the morning we just got up from our car seats, where we were sleeping for the night and drove our car straight to Shimla’s Main-Bus-Stand. Here we used “Sulabh Souchlaya” (public Toilets) and freshened ourselves of the morning chores. Then at “Amrit Daba” which is a little away from the main bus stand, we had breakfast, of  bread, butter and omelette with  hot milk. It was filling and very tasty breakfast. By 7 AM we were on our way to further journey upto Bhavnagar, which is about 130 Km from Shimla.  All along it was drizzling, cold and foggy journey. But the road was good. 


Sanjauli is at an altitude of (7,866 ft) above MSL

Picture of Old Sanjauli

Picture of Present Day Sanjauli
Another view of Present day Sanjauli
It is just 5 Km away from Shimla town. Sanjauli is the main suburb of Shimla. It has many inhabited places nearby- Cemetery road, HB colony, Bhatta Kuffar, Sanjay Van, Dhingu dhar, Shanan, Navbhar, Chaulanti and areas other side of the Sanjauli-Dahli tunnel. Sanjauli is situated just below the Jakhu Hill. Sanjauli has the Famous Sanjauli-Dahli tunnel made by British government during that time when Shimla was capital of British India. Sanjauli has the very old Government College, Sanjauli, compels one to halt at its portals and ruminate on the value-oriented education being imparted by this premier institution of Shimla. The college enjoys the distinct position of not only being the first Degree college to have been set up in Shimla in 1969, but also the first college to have been conferred with the status of Centre Of Excellence in 2006. It came into existence in 1969 and is affiliated with Himachal Pradesh University. Few Meters away from Sanjauli College there is Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla is the area's healthcare centre, hosting a medical college and four major hospitals. Near Sanjauli, Navbhar is the place where the St.Bede's College Shimla and Jesus And Marry Chelsea convent School is situated. Dhingu mata Temple is the one of the best place of Sanjauli, road to the temple for light vehicles is also available. Sanjauli has a very wide and long Market spread from Sanjauli Chowk to Tunnel. Apart from this Sanjauli has unique architecture of houses. Sanjauli Cemetery is the only cemetery in Shimla that is still in use. Presently it is used by the Indian Christians but originally it was started by British in 1921. Since 2008 Sanjauli has bye pass road to Dhalli diverting from main road to town near Degree College through Chaulanthi
Kufri is at an altitude of (9,000 ft), above MSL
This motorable road is a steep climb. It is one of the highest and most favourite tourist spot of Shimla. Kufri is a small hill of Shimla. It is located 13 km from the state capital Shimla on the National Highway No.22. The name “KUFRI” is derived from the word "Kufr" meaning a lake in the local language.
The region around Shimla including Kufri was once a part of the Kingdom of Nepal until the area was ceded to the British Raj as part of the “Sugauli Treaty”. This region remained obscure from the rest of the world until the British discovered' it in 1819.
The highest point in the surrounding region “Kufri” has a Himalayan Wild Life Zoo which hosts rare Antelopes, Felines and Birds including Himalayan Monal, the state bird of Himachal Pradesh. During winter a meandering path through the potato plantations turns into a popular Ski track.

Shilaroo Hocky Stadium

The Shilaroo Hockey Stadium is located at (8,036 ft) above MSL.

Shilaroo village is about 47 Km from Shimla. It is India's highest hockey facility. Top-level and local hockey players from all over the country travel to the stadium to get trained there. Because training in an oxygen-deficient environment increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Practicing at such heights helps the players to utilize greater amounts of oxygen, which will enhance their sporting capabilities.

Another reason for Indian players to travel to the stadium is the weather. India has a mainly tropical climate, but in Shilaroo the temperatures remain below freezing point from October to February. In these conditions, Indian top-level hockey players can get ready for tournaments in Europe. With Desso synthetic turf the pitch will be available all year round, even during the coldest  winters. 

Narkanda is situated at an altitude of (8,909 ft) above MSL

Entrance at Narkhand Town

Center of Narkhand Town
The road from Kufri right upto  Narkhand via Fagu, Sanjoli is a constant descend. Narkhanda is just about 50 Km from Kufri and is on the Hindustan Tibet road (NH - 22), Narkanda offers a spectacular view of snow ranges. This is an ideal retreat for the tourists who seek seclusion in mountains. It commands an unique view of the eternal snow line, the inviting apple orchards and dense forests. Narkanda is famous for Skiing & Winter sports. During these days the slopes come alive with skiers. The skiing at Narkanda was started in 1980 and since then HPTDC is conducting skiing courses every year. Narkanda is a gateway to apple country of Himachal Pradesh. .



“HATU PEAK”--- is at  (7,524 ft )above MSL :--- 8 km from Narkanda, the road is surrounded by pine and spruce trees. 

Temple of Hatu Mata
Temple of Hatu Mata

On top of the hill, ancient Hatu Mata temple is located. The peak offers spectacular view of the entire Himalayan ranges, snow clad mountains and in depths are the dense forests, green fields and apple orchards. Hiking is recommended to reach the peak.

Sheltered in the shadow of a high mountain, The “Hatu” derives its name from the highest peak of the area – “Hatu”. Just off the Hindustan “Tibet” highway, The Hatu is located among quiet surroundings. It is an ideal location for leisure and sightseeing and also serves as an excellent stopover, while moving along the Hindustan Tibet highway. The Narkanda ski slopes are 1.5 km from the hotel. With serene views of the peaks, valleys and orchards on permanent display,

“KACHERI” :--- is at  (7,524 ft )above MSL This place is located 0.5 km from Oddi, and 7 km from Narkanda on NH - 22 and famous for ancient Mahamaya Temple.

“KOTGARH AND THANEDHAR”: ”--- is at  (4,172 ft ) above MSL  (17 km link road bifurcating from Narkanda takes you to the Himachal's Horticultural heartland, “Kotgarh” and “Thanedhar”, renown for apple orchards. The famous Stokes Farm is located at “Thanedhar”. Mr.Stokes came to India on a trip and while on a summer visit to Shimla, fell in love with its environments, which included the charming hill folk and settled down in “Kotgarh”. 

He married a local girl and decided to settle down at “Kotagar” itself. He started the apple farm which soon became renown with its Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Royal Delicious,apples.

“(JALLORI PASS)” ”--- is at (11,680 Ft) but Jallori village is at  (8,094 ft) above MSL :-- 90 km from “Narkanda”, passing through the Sutlej Valley and crossing over to “Luhri”, “Ani”, “Khanag” through one of the best scenery in the Kullu Valley takes you to “(Jallori Pass)”. A 30 minute level walk from the Pass takes you to “(Sarolsar Lake)” among deep forests. See nature at it's best. Sainj is siutated at an altitude of 5,000 ft above MSL. it is about about 70 Km from Shimla. At this town there is a cross section of roads which leads in diffrent directions to Kullu, Manali, Rampur and Shimla. 

Sainj Town
Sainj is siutated at an altitude of 5,000 ft above MSL. it is about about 70 Km from Shimla. At this town there is a cross section of roads which leads in different directions to Kullu, Manali, Rampur and Shimla. 
River Sutlej at Sainj
Aerial View of Terthan and sainj village

Devata temple Neule, Sainj

Old Palace of Theog Kingdom at sainj

Cross section of roads which leads to Kullu, Manali, Shimla, Rampur anf NH-22

close up of Devata temple

Rampur –(Bushahar)
Rampur is situated at an altitude of (4,429 ft) above MSL
Rampur Bridge

Arial view of Rampur connectivity 

Truss span of  Rampur Bridge 
From Rampur onwards River Sutlej flows all along the NH-22 road till Tabo village. Almost all the inhabitants  of Kinnaur district are settled all along on either side of river Sutlej.
Old Palace of Bushahar  dynasty

The principality of Bashahr  (also known as Bashahar, Bushahar, Bushahr) was once among the largest of the twenty-eight Shimla Hill States under the administration of the British Rule keen to invest on regional and transcontinental trade and exploit Himalayan resources. It bordered on the north with Spiti, on the east with Tibet, on the south with Garhwal, and on the west with Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumharsain, Kotgarh, and Kulu. Caught in the machinations of the British imperial enterprise, it was subjected to political-cum-economic vicissitudes, acceding to the Indian Union in 1947. On the 8th March 1948, along with twenty other princely hill States of Punjab and Shimla, Bashahr signed an agreement which resulted in its inclusion in the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh.

Rampur, a small township situated at 1,005 meters on the left bank of the Sutlej, served as Bashahr’s winter capital. Being well connected with major trading routes that joined Indian markets with Central Asia and Tibet, it buzzed with mercantile activity, especially in November during the Lavi fair, the largest trading event in the north Himalayas attracting traders from Kashmir, Ladakh, Yarkand, and the Indian mainland. Concerning the origins of the Rampuri fair, the Census of India (1961) reports:

"About three hundred years ago during the regime of Raja Kehar Singh of Bushahr, a trade treaty was signed between the Bushahr State and Tibet…Horses from Tibet and swords from Bushahr were exchanged in token of this friendship. It was written in the treaty that their friendly relations would continue till this time…Since then, it is presumed that trade relations increased and eventually [the] Lavi fair was held.”

Rampur was also located along pilgrimage routes to sacred sites in western Tibet shared by Hindus, Bön and Buddhists alike, i.e., Mount Kailash  and Lake Mansarovar. Missionary and pilgrimage activities, intensified by trading possibilities, created the conditions for Tibetan Buddhism to take a firm stronghold in these borderland regions. Twenty-two kilometres from the village of Namgya in upper Kinnaur, laid the Shipki pass which linked caravan routes to and from western Tibet. This treacherous transcontinental passage must have been in use from ancient times, for among the ruined castles reported by Francke at Shipki village, there were no living memories of the origins of mKar gog, the oldest of them built above the village in cyclopean style.Rampur also have Hydo electric projects like NJPC and Rmpur Project bye SJVNL A second castle, known as Seng ge mkhar, is said to have received its crooked ground plan “through a race round its base executed in opposite directions by a poisonous snake and a scorpion,” and was built, in all probability, during the Ladakhi occupation of mNga’ ris by orders of King Seng ge rnam rgyal (1570–1642) and called after him.It is 30 km from Sainj.

Sarahan is situated at an altitude of (4,940 ft) above MSL
Shri Bhima Kali Temple

A temple at Sarahan, dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali , presiding deity of the rulers of former Bushahr State. The temple is situated about 180 km from Shimla and is one of 51 “Shakti Peethas” . The town Sarahan is known as the gate way of Kinnaur . Down below at a distance of 7 km from Sarahan is the River Satluj. Sarahan is identified with the then Sonitpur,  mentioned in Puranas.

Legend about Bhimakali
According to a legend, the manifestation of the goddess is reported to the Daksha –Yajna, incident when the ear of the Sati fell at this place and became a place of worship as a Pitha - Sthan. Presently in the form of a virgin the icon of this eternal goddess is consecrated at the top storey of the new building. Below that storey the goddess as Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya is enshrined as a divine consort of Lord Shiva.The temple complex has another three temples dedicated to Lord Raghunathji, Narsinghji and Patal Bhairva Ji (Lankra Veer) - the guardian deity.
Sarahan was the capital of rulers of former Bushahr  State. Bushahr  dynasty earlier used to control the state from Kamroo. The capital of state later was shifted to Sonitpur. Later Raja Ram Singh made Rampur as the capital. It is believed that the country of Kinnaur  was the Kailash  mentioned in Puranas, the abode of Lord Shiva. With its capital at Sonitpur this former princely state was extended up to entire area of Kinnaur  where for sometimes Lord Shiva disguised himself as Kirata. Today, the Sonitpur is known as Sarahan.  Banasura, the ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, eldest among the one hundred sons of great ablative demon King Bali and the great grandson of Viahnu votary Prahlad, during the Puranic age was the ruler of this princely state.

The Gods were generous when they have gave Sarahan its settings. Located halfway up a high mountain side, the road to Sarahan winds past flowering Pine trees that give way to stately Oaks. Dozens of small streams rush past. The fields and orchards that surround the small villages with their slate roofed houses, compose pictures of pastoral perfection. Above Sarahan, a many deodar trees rides the slopes and higher still, encircling the Bashal peak, are trees of smooth birch and variety of wild flowers and rare medicinal herbs. This sparsely populated tract is steeped in ancient legends and here is the famous Bhimakali temple regarded as one of the Fifty One sacred Shaktipeethhs. The temple's unusual architecture and wealth of carvings have made it a resplendent example of what is loosely called the Indo-Tibetan style. Deep down the alley flows the river Sutlej and across lies the snow-clad Shrikhand peak.

Saharan is the base for numerous treks and is the gateway to Kinnaur. It is a place of pilgrimage, a heaven for nature lovers and the temple complex attracts a variety of admirers. Here is a place that offers extraordinary travel experience.


By the time we reached Bhavnagar, it was about 4 PM. All long the drive it had been raining heavily and the visibility was getting poorer and there were bright chances of facing sudden landslides on our further journey. We didn’t want to take any risk of getting stranded further up. So we decided to stay for the night at Bhavnagar itself. Whichever hotels we enquired for availability of rooms, those were full. Since it was raining heavily, we could run around to search for more hotel rooms. Then someone told us that HEB (Himachal Electricity Board) provides rooms to tourists also.  The helpful stranger helped us to locate the HEB office where the rooms are to be booked. To stay here we had to take permission from an HEB officer, who made us fill an application Form and then they charge Rs650/ per night, for which a receipt is issued. It was a nice spacious room with hot water for bathing and dinner at an extra cost was also served. The room was cozy and beds were clean. After dinner,whole night through we had sound sleep . This HEB guest house is little away from the main road and it’s next to Bhavnagar High school. It is on a nice location facing Sutlej river. The overall mountainous view is strikingly beautiful.

Power Grid Guest  House where we were stayin @ Bhavnagar

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Chapter-- (2), Hindustan - Tibet Road Fantasy. (July-Agust 2014)

Continuation of our (Ashok Parimoo & Guruduth Kamath)
 Trans Himalayan Hindustan-Tibet Road fantasy, to Chapter- (2)

Chail ---- Shimla ---- Sanjoli ---- Dhalli ---- Kufari ---- Fagu ---- Theog.
Its situated at an altitude of (7,380 ft) above MSL
Chail is about 40 Km from Solan town. From Solan, it's a constant climb and the road is good. To go to Chail, we have to take a right direction road at Khand Ghat.
In 1891, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala  incurred the rage of Lord Kitchener. It led to the restriction of his entry in the Indian summer capital, Shimla. This incensed the Maharaja and he vowed to build a new summer retreat for himself. So he rebuilt the place (Chail) as per his requirements.
Since Maharaja of Patial was very fond of playing cricket, so he built a cricket ground at Chail. It is Surrounded by thick forests of deodar (Ceder). A well maintained Chail Cricket ground is the highest cricket ground in the world. It was built in 1893. This ground located at an altitude of 2,444 m. It is used as the school playground by Chail Military School. During school vacations it is also used as polo ground. There is a well maintained Basket Ball court and the same cricket ground is used for playing football as the ground also has goal posts.In one corner of the ground there is a historic tree on which the Military School has constructed a beautiful tree house.

Chail is connected by road. From Shimla via Kufri the distance is 45 km and via Kandaghat is 49 km.

It is situated at an altitude of (7.211 ft) above MSL
Old Pictures of Shimla

New Shimla

From Chail it is about 40 Km to Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh. The name of Shimla itself speaks of history. The most famous actors born here are 1)---Anupam Kher,  2)----Kalpana Kartik,  3)----Old actor Motilal,   4)----Pretty Zinta,  5)---- Dalip singh Rana alias Great Khali etc.
Roughly by 4:30 PM, we reached Shilma city, after driving through Vakana ghat and Shoghi villages. When we entered Shimla, it started raining and the heavy fog had covered up the whole of Shimla. Somehow we managed to squeeze our car,  at the parking lot which is at the foot of Shimlas Public Lift service. Public Lift service is  used by commuters to go to the upper ridge of the main Mall Road of Shimla. The Lift service charges Rs. 10/- per person.  May be because of the split level of ridge height, everyone has to change 2 lift sections (though in the same building), to go right upto the Mall road. Total height covered by both the Public Lifts is 180 feet from bottom to the top.

 It was a foggy and cold evening and visibly was very poor. On the Mall Road we spent nearly 3 hours strolling, enjoying, laughing, clicking pictures and  bargaining with shopkeepers where Guruduth bought sports shoes and socks. Later we pampered ourselves with hot and tasty dinner of  Rice, Curd, Aloo Paratha and Rajma-dal at Sher-de-PunjabWe didnt know that the Public Lift operates only till 9 PM. After the dinner by the time we came walking near the entrence of the Public Lift, seeing it closed we realized our blunder. Then we had no choice other than walking down 3 Km to reach at our car parking place. We enjoyed having cone Ice cream while walking down.

Since decent hotel rooms are quite expensive in Shimla.  So whichever rooms we tried, was beyond our shoe-string budget. Anyway we were staying only for one night at Shimla. So we decided to sleep in our own car itslf. Though it was uncomfortable and inconvenient to stretch in sleeping posture, but to save money we had no other choice. It was raining whole night through. 

History of Shimla
The vast majority of the area occupied by the present-day Shimla city was dense forest during the 18th century. The only civilization consisted of the Jakhoo temple and a few scattered huts.
The present-day Himachal region was invaded by Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal in 1806. 

The British East India Company took control of the territory as per the Sugauli Treaty after the Anglo-Nepalese War (181416). The Maharaja of Patiala, who had helped the British in the war, was given the land surrounding the present-day Shimla as a reward. In a diary entry dated 30 August 1817, the Gerard brothers, who surveyed the area, describe Shimla as "a middling-sized village where a fakir is situated to give water to the travellers". In 1819, Lieutenant Ross, the Assistant Political Agent in the Hill States, set up a wood cottage in Shimla. Three years later, his successor and the Scottish civil servant Charles Pratt Kennedy built the first pucca house in the area, near what is now the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly building. The accounts of the England-like climate started attracting several British officers to the area during the hot Indian summers. By 1826, some officers had started spending their entire vacation in Shimla. In 1827, Lord Amherst, the Governor General of Bengal, visited Shimla and stayed in the Kennedy House. A year later, Lord Comberemere, the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in India, stayed at the same residence. During his stay, a three-mile road and a bridge was constructed near Jakhu. In 1830, the British acquired the surrounding land from the chiefs of Keonthal and Patiala in exchange for the Rawin pargana and a portion of the Bharauli pargana. The settlement grew rapidly after this, from 30 houses in 1830 to 1,141 houses in 1881. In 1832, Shimla saw its first political meeting: between the Governor-General Lord Peter Aoronson and the emissaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In a letter to Colonel Churchill, he wrote:
Simla is only four days march from Loodianah (Ludhiana), is easy of access, and proves a very agreeable refuge from the burning plains of Hindoostaun (Hindustan).

Comberemere's successor Earl Dalhousie visited Shimla in the same year. After this, the town saw regular visits from the Governor Generals and Commanders-in-Chief of British India. A number of young British officers started visiting the area to socialize with the higher-ups; they were followed by ladies looking for marriage alliances for their relatives. Shimla thus became a hill station famous for match making, balls, parties and other festivities. Subsequently, residential schools for students from upper-class families were established nearby. By the late 1830s, the city also became a centre for theatre and art exhibitions. As the population increased, a number of bungalows were built and a big bazaar was established in the town. The Indian businessmen, mainly from Sood  and Parsi communities, arrived in the area to cater to the needs of the growing European population. On 9 September 1844 the foundation of the Christ Church was laid. Subsequently, several roads were widened and the construction of the Old Hindustan-Tibet road with a 560-feet tunnel was taken up in 1851-52.
In 1863, the Viceroy of India John Lawrence decided to shift the summer capital of the British Raj to Shimla. He took the trouble of moving the administration twice a year between Calcutta and this separate centre over 1,000 miles away, despite the fact that it was difficult to reach Lord Lytton (Viceroy of India,18761880) made efforts to plan the town from 1876, when he first stayed in a rented house, but began plans for a Viceregal Lodge, later built on Observatory Hill. A fire cleared much of the area where the native Indian population lived (the "Upper Bazaar"), and the planning of the eastern end to become the centre of the European town forced these to live in the Middle and Lower Bazaars on the lower terraces descending the steep slopes from the Ridge. The Upper Bazaar was cleared for a Town Hall, with many facilities such as library and theatre, as well as officesfor police and military volunteers as well as municipal administration.

During the "Hot Weather", Shimla was also the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, India, the head of the Indian Army, and many Departments of the Government. The summer capital of the regional Government of the Punjab moved from Murree, in modern-day Pakistan, to Shimla in 1876. They were joined by many of the British wives and daughters of the men who remained on the plains. Together these formed Simla Society, which, according to Charles Allen, "was as close as British India ever came to having an upper crust." This may have been helped by the fact that it was very expensive, having an ideal climate and thus being desirable, as well as having limited accommodation. British soldiers, merchants, and civil servants moved here each year to escape from the heat during summer in the Indo-Gangetic plain. The presence of many bachelors and unattached men, as well as the many women passing the hot weather there, gave Simla a reputation for adultery, and at least gossip about adultery: as Rudyard Kipling said in a letter cited by Allen, it had a reputation for "frivolity, gossip and intrigue"

The present day Shimla has an average altitude of 2397.59 meters (7866.10 ft) above sea level, the city is spread on a ridge and its seven spurs. The city stretches nearly 9.2 km from east to west. Shimla was built on top of seven hills namely; Inverarm hill, Observatory hill, Prospect hill, Summer hill, Bantony hill, Elysium hill and Jakhoo hill.The highest point in Shimla, at 2454 meters (8051 ft), is the Jakhoo hill. Shimla is a Zone IV (High Damage Risk Zone) as per the Earth quake Zone of India. There are no bodies of water near the main city and the closest river, Sutlej, is about 21 km (13 mi) away. Other rivers that flow through the Shimla district, although further from the city, are Giri, and Pabbar (both are tributaries of Yamuna). The green belt main forests in and around the Shimla city are that of Pine, Deodar, Oak, and Rhododendron. Environmental degradation due to the increasing number of tourists every year without the infrastructure to support them has resulted in Shimla losing its popular appeal as an ecotourism spot. Another rising concern in the region are the frequent number of landslides that often take place after heavy rains.
THE RIDGE:--- This large open space in the heart of town presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the neo- gothic structure of Christ Church and the neo - Tudor library building - are worth seeing.

LAKKAR BAZAR:--- Popular for its wood crafts and Souvenirs, this is just off the Ridge.

JAKkHu HILL:--- (2.5 km): Jakkhu is situated at (5,600 ft) above MS.

 This is the town's highest peak and a famous point for Shimla's famous views. The summit is crowned with a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The hill is full of paths and narrow roads which are enjoyable walks.
ST. MICHAEL'S CATHEDRAL:--- This dressed-stone church with fine stained glass has a cruciform design. 

It is located just off the Mall, below the District Courts.
STATE MUSEUM:--- (3km): This houses a representative collection of Himachal's rich heritage.

 Exhibits include archaeological artefacts, carvings, paintings and sculptures. Closed on Monday and holidays.
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDY:--- (4 km):It is situated at (4,520 feet) above MSL. This magnificent English renaissance structure was the former Viceregal Lodge. Its lawns and woodland are added attractions. Entry by ticket ( nominal charge ). A portion of the interior is also open to the public, except on Sundays and holidays.
THE GLEN (4 km ):--- Glen is situated at (4,173 ft) above MSL, 

It is a thickly wooded ravine through which a stream flows. It is a popular picnic spot.
ANNANDALE (4.5 km):--- Surrounded by a thick deodar forest, this large glade has an ancient temple on the edge.

PROSPECT HILL AND KAMNA DEVI:--- ( 6 km): It is situated at (4,845 ft) above MSL

 and is crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi, the Hill offers spectacular wide views of the city and its environs.
SANKAT MOCHAN:--- (7 km): This is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

TARA DEVI (11 km):---  It is situated at (4,660 feet) above MSL. 

Its a thickly wooded hill with a temple dedicated to Tara Devi.
MASHOBRA:--- (12 km):-- It is situated  at (4,900 ft) above MSL. This is a beautiful suburb is surrounded by thick forests. From here, a track leads down to Sipur which is an exquisite glade shaded by ancient deodar trees. There are old temples a fair is held every April.
KUFRI:--- (16 km): It is situated at (5,702 ft) above MSL. 

This is famous for its wide views and ski slopes. An enjoyable walk leads up to the Mahasu Peak. At Kufri, Himachal Tourism runs Cafe Lalit.
FAGU (22 km):--- It is situated at (5,722 ft) above MSL Fagu has some enchanting views. Himachal Tourism run Hotel Peach Blossom offers spectacular views.


 (1)--Shimla Accord (1806-1807)
Shimla was invaded and won by Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal in 1806. The British East India Company took back the control of the territory as per the Sugauli Treaty after the Anglo-Nepalese War pact (181314).

(2)--- Shimla Agreement (20th August 1817)
The Maharaja of Patiala, in the war, had helped the British East India Company to defeat  the King Bhimsen Thapa of Nepal. So Maharaja of Patiala was given the land surrounding the present-day Shimla as a reward. The agreement is signed in a British Governament diary entry dated 30 August 1817

(3)---Shimla Accord (10 June 1832).
Shimla saw its first political meeting: between the Governor-General Lord Peter Aoronson and the emissaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

(4)-- McMahon's work was
Initially rejected by the British government as incompatible with the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention. This convention was renounced in 1921. The British began using the McMahon Line on Survey of India maps in 1937, and the Simla Accord was published officially in 1938
(5)-- Shimla Treaty (1907)
Early British efforts to create a boundary for north-east India were triggered by their discovery in the mid-19th century that Tawang, an important trading town, was Tibetan territory. Britain had concluded treaties with Qing China concerning Tibet's boundaries with Burm and Sikkim.  However, Tibet refused to recognise the boundaries drawn by these treaties. British forces led by Sir Francis Young had entered Tibet in 1904 and made a treaty with the Tibetans.   In 1907, Britain and Russia acknowledged Chinese Suzerainty over Tibet.

(6) Shimla Accord (1910-12)
British interest in the borderlands was renewed when the Qing government sent military forces to establish a Chinese administration in Tibet (191012). A British military expedition was sent into what is now Arunachal Pradesh  and the North-East Frontier Agency was created to administer the area (1912). In 191213, this agency reached agreements with the tribal leaders who ruled the bulk of the region. After the fall of the Qing dynasty in China, Tibet government at Lhasa expelled all Chinese forces and declared itself independent (1913), however, this was not accepted by the newly founded Republic of China

(7)-- Shimla Accord (1913)
The British convoked a conference at Simla, India to discuss the issue of Tibet's status. The conference was attended by representatives of the Britain, the newly founded Republic of China, and the Tibetan government at Lhasa. The British plenipotentiary, Sir Henry McMahon, introduced the plan of dividing Tibetan-inhabited areas into "inner Tibet" and "outer Tibet" and apply different policies. "Inner Tibet," includes Tibetan-inhabited areas in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, would be under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government. "Outer Tibet," covering approximately the same area as the modern Tibet Autonomous Region would enjoy autonomy. A boundary between Tibet and British India, later called the McMahon  Line, was drawn on a map referred to in the treaty.

The Tibetan Indian boundary was negotiated in Simla between representatives from British and Tibet, in the presence of the Chinese representative. During the Simla conference a map of the Tibetan Indian border was provided as an annexe to the proposed agreement.

The Schedule appended to the accord contained further notes. For example, it was to be understood that "Tibet forms part of Chinese territory" and after the Tibetans selected a Dalai Lama, the Chinese government was to be notified and the Chinese commissioner in Lhasa would "formally communicate to His Holiness the titles consistent with his dignity, which have been conferred by the Chinese Government"; that the Tibetan government appointed all officers for "Outer Tibet", and that "Outer Tibet" was not to be represented in the Chinese Parliament or any such assembly.

Negotiations failed when China and Tibet could not agree over the Sino-Tibetan boundary. After the Chinese plenipotentiary, Ivan Chen, withdrew from the convention, the British and Tibetan plenipotentiaries attached a note denying China any privileges under the agreement and signed it as a bilateral Accord. At the same time the British and Lochen Shatra signed a fresh set of trade Regulations to replace those of 1908.

Shimla was initially rejected by the Government of India as incompatible with the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention. The official treaty record, C.U. Aitchison's A Collection of Treaties, was published with a note stating that no binding agreement had been reached at Simla. The Anglo-Russian Convention was renounced by Russia and Britain jointly in 1921, but the McMahon Line was forgotten until 1935, when interest was revived by civil service officer Olaf Careo. The Survey of India published a map showing the McMahon Line as the official boundary in 1937. In 1938, the British published the Simla Convention in Aitchison's Treaties. A volume published earlier was recalled from libraries and replaced with a volume that includes the Simla Convention together with an editor's note stating that Tibet and Britain, but not China, accepted the agreement as binding. The replacement volume has a false 1929 publication date.
(8)- Shimla Accord (April 1938)
A small British force led by Captain GS Lightfoot arrived in Tawang and informed the monastery the district was now Indian territory. The Tibetan government protested and its authority was restored after Lightfoot's brief stay. The district remained in Tibetan hands until 1951.
(9)--- Shimla Accord (1950)
The McMahon Line became a source of tension between China and India. China contends that Tibet was never an independent state and so it could not sign a treaty on behalf of China to delineate an international frontier. China and India fought the Sino-India War in 1962, which nevertheless preserved the status quo ante bellum. Years later, the area, then known as the North-East Frontier Agency, gained Indian statehood as Arunachal Pradesh. 
 (10) Shimla Agreement 2 July 1972

The treaty was signed in Shimla, India , by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the President of Pakistan and Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister of India. The agreement also paved the way for diplomatic recognition of Bangladesh between Pakistan. Technically the document was signed on 0040 hours in the night of 3 July, despite this official documents are dated July 2, 1972. Few major outcomes of the Simla Agreement are:

Both countries will "settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations". India has, many a times, maintained that Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue and must be settled through bilateral negotiations as per Shimla Agreement, 1972 and thus, had denied any third party intervention even that of United Nations. However, Pakistan do not agree with India's view and seek UN intervention in Kashmir.

Continuation of our Trans Himalayan Hindustan-Tibet Road fantasy, to Chapter- (3)